Set up sensors with no-coding development kit, for TI MCUs

March 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor Farnell element14 has the Texas Instruments MSP CapTIvate microcontroller (MCU) development kit, presented as a comprehensive, easy-to-use platform providing real-time sensor tuning, without writing a single line of code. Modular design, easy to access data and application orientated approach suits it to, for example, thermostats, white goods and personal electronics.

Texas Instruments’ MSP CapTIvate microcontroller (MCU) development kit contains a CAPTIVATE-FR2633 target MCU module, CAPTIVATE-PGMR eZ-FET with EnergyTrace technology and HID communication bridge, CAPTIVATE-ISO UART, I ²C, and SBW isolation board, CAPTIVATE-BSWP self-capacitance demo (Out-of-Box Experience), CAPTIVATE-PHONE mutual capacitance demo with haptics and guard channel and CAPTIVATE-PROXIMITY proximity detection and gesturing demo.


The MSP430FR2633-based MCU board, a programmer/debugger board with EnergyTrace technology measures energy consumption with the TI’s Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE), and sensor boards to evaluate self-capacitance, mutual capacitance, gesture and proximity sensing. Users can evaluate the MSP430FR2633 microcontroller with CapTIvate touch technology, which provides high resolution capacitive-touch. MSP MCUs with CapTIvate technology are the industry’s lowest power capacitive touch MCUs with 10 Vrms noise immunity and support for dirt-proof, glove-friendly designs.


Features include;


Modular design;

Different sensing panels can be attached through a common connector.

The programming/debug logic has been split from the target MCU, unlike a typical LaunchPad which has both components on one PCB. This allows for an isolation module to be inserted between the two for testing/tuning, or for the programming/debug module to be used for in-system product development.

The target MCU PCB features BoosterPack plug-in board headers, allowing it to be used as a BoosterPack for another LaunchPad development kit, such as the MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad kit.


Application oriented;

The sensing panels included in the kit are designed to mimic real applications.

Evaluating a new application simply involves laying out a basic 1 or 2 layer PCB with a footprint for the sensor connector, or simply laying out electrodes with copper tape and wiring them into the connector.


Easy access to data;

EnergyTrace technology power profiling enables capturing of power profiles without any measurement equipment.

The HID-Bridge communications interface allows debug data transfer between the target and a PC over UART or I ²C.


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